Nepal: Revolutionary Maoists organize Landless families to defend revolutionary redistribution of lands

Squatters irked at decision to return seized property — Form struggle committee in Kailali

KAILALI, NOV 24 – The UCPN (Maoist) decision to return land and property seized during the insurgency to their “rightful owners” has irked landless families squatting on a private plot of land at Haraiya Phant of Sripur VDC in Kailali.

The Maoists had taken over 23.6 hectares of land owned by one Rana Bahadur Shah nearly six years ago and later distributed it among the landless families.

There are 155 families living on the land at present, and they have said they will not leave the property unless the government comes up with an alternative to shelter them.

With help from the Mohan Baidya faction of the Maoist party, they have also formed a struggle committee to stand against the property return process.

“We will not leave this place unless an alternative is guaranteed,” said Harilal Badi, the coordinator of the committee.

He accused the Maoists of bringing them to the site with promises of providing them with land.

“We even voted for them, and now that the party is in power the same Prachanda and Baburam (Bhattarai) are trying to evict us.”

A majority of the families living at Haraiya Phant are from the Dalit and Tharu communities. The Maoists had brought them there from districts like Kailali, Dailekh, Dadeldhura, Jumla, Syangja and Doti.

“We have nowhere to go,” a 63-year-old occupant, Nandi BK, said. “If we go live in the forests, the community forest people will expel us. Such is our plight. We cannot leave this place.”

(Janak Nepal, Ganesh Chaudhary and Mohan Budhair in Kailali and Kamal Panthi in Bardiya contributed to this report)

Posted on: 2011-11-25

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